Be In the Know

When it comes to money, ignorance is not bliss.

Many couples naturally default to one person managing the family accounts. (Hey, divide and conquer, right?) But over time, that division of labor can breed cluelessness. A 2015 survey found that nearly half of people don’t know how much their partner earns — and of those, 10 percent got that number wrong by $25,000 or more.

Whether or not you are your family’s chief financial officer, you still need to know the important facts and figures of your financial life. If not, you can’t weigh in on where your money is going. (Not to mention that you could be blindsided if you ever get divorced or your spouse dies.) In order to alleviate the stress finances can put on a relationship, I highly recommend that couples have a frank conversation about their views on money, spending and saving. And when it comes to combining household, this means sitting down with your partner to create a master list of your financial accounts, balances and passwords. Also talk about how much each of you earns and how much of that is going toward retirement, cash savings and paying down debt.

A little honest dialogue goes a long way to building a stronger financial foundation for your shared lives.